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NJPW Summer Struggle and Jingu Stadium 2020


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I just want it somewhere, anywhere, online: thank you Kevin Kelly for putting in ridiculous hours to do live commentary for this show. I didn't stay up/wake up early to watch the show live, but to have English commentary ready to go by the time I logged in to watch Summer Struggle at noon was a privilege, and a nice reminder of pre-COIVD times when the commentary team could travel back and forth to Japan relatively without incident. Since the Elite left, it feels kinda like NJPW is moving back to niche status as opposed to "the promotion that will wind up nipping at WWE's heels" like it was in 2017ish; I appreciate anything they continue to do to make their shows more accessible to an English-speaking audience.

Also: It was clear that Chris Charlton had to carry more weight than usual, and I felt he did a really good job. Props to both of them for doing what they did in adverse circumstances.

I'm not sure there's an argument for him as a GOAT candidate, but Minoru Suzuki has to be one of the most effective pro wrestlers of all time. He's in my completely subjective all-time favorites list. Though: I remember reading recent interviews where he has stated he hasn't had to change anything up since there are fewer fans in attendance, because his style isn't reliant upon them. I'm not sure that's the case. I feel like he's taken a lot of the extended submission sequences out of his matches since fans can't cheer for the opponent who needs to escape. That said: between the Nagata matches and this one vs. Shingo, Suzuki is still having a very enjoyable, if strike-heavy 2020. If nothing else, he stands as a shining example of being able to do more with less.

It was refreshing to see a faction besides Bullet Club act like an actual faction in NJPW. 

The change in setting made for some really cool camera shots during wrestler intros and post-match celebrations. In some ways, watching wrestling filmed in outdoor venues still struck me as off, but I'd like to see NJPW keep this going every now and then.

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19 minutes ago, The Natural said:

 

Shoot it straight into my veins!!!!!!!!!

Yano is KING OF PRO WRESTLING!!!!!

ALL HAIL THE ERA OF YANO!!!!!!!

 

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It was nice to see LIJ having Naito's back for once!

 

And, yeah, Yano defending a title in stipulation matches has a pretty high entertainment potential.

Edited by gordi
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8 hours ago, sabremike said:

Shoot it straight into my veins!!!!!!!!!

Yano is KING OF PRO WRESTLING!!!!!

ALL HAIL THE ERA OF YANO!!!!!!!

 

 He's only provisional champion, not final champion.

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19 hours ago, Archibald said:

Nope.

Anyway, coolest shit ever:

 

Damn straight!

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5 hours ago, The Natural said:

Monkey Suzuki regains the NEVER Openweight Championship. I'm keeping that autocorrect in. Forgive me, Minoru Suzuki.

Minoru Suzuki never forgives, be glad he doesn't know where you live.

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  • 1 month later...

So slowly but surely I'm watching New Japan since the return and I've watched the Jingu Stadium show. I really enjoyed it. Yano pinning Okada put a smile on my face after reading how "shocked" Meltzer was over it but also the first two matches ended abruptly from a school boy roll up 7 minutes in. Minoru vs Shingo is really good I thought. The whole show is really good. I thought Naito vs Evil was I don't want to say perfect but they had a really good match, it felt like a big time match to me. I liked Evil as Champ I knew it wasn't going to last long but the whole Evil joining Bullet Club and LIJ vs Bullet Club has been fun. The 'Bushi" and Sanada run ins felt Wrestlemania level. The main was really good. I also watched the 99 show and thats good too that Barbed Wire Land Mine match is worth watching at least once I really enjoyed it. I reviewed both on my podcast if anyone is compelled to take a listen.

 

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